Date: April 24th, 2020 – ongoing
Partner: Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
Location: URL will be added when site is live
Project Members: Jessica Mascitelli, Kurtis Dinner, Emma Puddicombe
George Brady (1928-2019) lived in Czechoslovakia with his parents Markéta and Karel, and sister Hana until March 1939, when Nazi Germany took control of the area. George and his family encountered increasing restrictions and persecution until they were separated in 1942. George and Hana were taken to Theresienstadt, a ghetto camp outside of Prague in May 1942. The children were separated in 1944 when George was sent to work in Auschwitz and Hana was sent to the gas chambers. George finally escaped to Germany during a death march in January 1945 and travelled around Europe until he found his aunt and uncle. Upon receiving word that the rest of his family had died during the Holocaust, George moved to Canada in 1951.
For the rest of his life, George Brady was a key advocate for Holocaust remembrance, particularly through his donation of artifacts to many collections in museums across Canada. George Brady has the largest Canadian collection of artifacts from the Holocaust. It is with this collection that the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre (NHEC) created the Brady Family Kit, a classroom learning tool with primary source documents and artifacts. The kit, which is divided into four parts, outlines George Brady’s life story from before the Holocaust to his life afterwards in Canada. We chose to digitize the resources in this kit so we could expand the reach of this educational tool.
We are creating an online platform for the Brady Collection Kit to extend the reach of Holocaust commemoration in Ontario education. This project aims to fulfill the needs of Ontario teachers by creating an online resource for Holocaust education with primary resources. The website allows for more teachers and students to have a dialogue about the Holocaust and how it connects to our present and future generations. As we leave the era of living witnesses, it is crucial to have a platform to extend education through artifacts and testimonies that meet the Ontario curriculum.
The project began in September of 2019 to familiarize ourselves with the existing Brady Family Resource Kit and start brainstorming on how we would create the online version. In October and November of that same year, we created our budget, official timeline and prototypes of the site for the project. From January to March 2020, we officially began to build the website, our teacher guide and additional resources such as translated documents and videos. We also completed user testing with Ontario teachers and used their feedback to improve the site. We are having our final meetings throughout April, so we can officially launch our website on April 24th, 2020.
We would like to thank Carson Phillips and Dan Panneton from the Neuberger Holocaust Center for their continued support throughout this process. This project would not have been possible without their guidance throughout the year. We would also like to thank our peers and teachers from around Ontario who took time to provide feedback on our site and how to improve it. Without this feedback, our site would not have reached its full potential. To our professor Dr. Agnieszka Chalas and Teaching Assistants Camille-Mary Sharp and Hayley Bryant, thank you for your support and ideas throughout the year. Finally, we would like to thank the Brady Family for allowing us to tell George Brady’s story online. We hope that this website provides a lasting legacy of Holocaust commemoration and education that you are proud of. It was an honour to create this project.